April 28, 2006 A Prism Business Media Publication Vol. V, No. 8


CONTENTS
Construction Starts Rise 10.2% in Quarter One

Web Site Provides Tax Deduction Information for Lighting Upgrades

ASA Issues Policy on Commissioning

U.S. Army Adopts LEED Rating System

New York State Seeks Sealed Bids for Electrical Work

California County Requests Proposals for Prime Contractor

Business Brief

ASTM International Releases New Edition of Standards on Electrical Protective Equipment for Workers

LFI 2006

7x24 Exchange Spring Conference

NFPA World Safety Congress & Exposition


Sponsored Q&A Partners
A panel of professionals answers your questions on a variety of topics
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Test &
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Bruce & Brian
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Standby
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    Around the Circuit
    Construction Starts Rise 10.2%
    in Quarter One

    Norcross, Ga.-based Reed Construction Data recently announced that construction starts, excluding residential projects, increased 10.2% in the first three months of 2006 compared to the same period in 2005. March 2006 starts, totaling $24.0 billion, were 40% higher than in February, which was unusually weak due to bad weather. The value of non-residential construction starts increased 16% in full-year 2005 after several years of decline.

    The largest gains in starts so far in 2006 include increases of 127.5% for hotel/motel work, a 28.4% increase for hospitals, 25.8% for private offices, 23.2% for bridge construction, and 12.3% for retail buildings. Road/highway construction starts are up only 2.8%, compared to the first three months of 2005.



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    Web Site Provides Tax Deduction Information for Lighting Upgrades
    Rosslyn, Va.-based National Electrical Manufacturers Association's (NEMA) Lighting Systems Division recently launched a Web site for owners, specifiers, installers, and sellers of lighting systems. The site provides implementation information about lighting upgrades covered by the commercial buildings tax deduction provision of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) and contains a wide range of frequently asked questions, process maps detailing compliance with Standard 90.1-2001, and examples of projects that demonstrate how target reductions in lighting power can be achieved. The site also provides descriptions of popular energy-efficient lighting strategies and technologies, links to research studies, a directory of NEMA Lighting Systems Division members, and additional communications resources. For more information, visit NEMA's new Web site.

    ASA Issues Policy on Commissioning
    Alexandria, Va.-based American Subcontractors Association (ASA) recently adopted a policy on commissioning. The organization describes the subcontractors' role in providing construction owners with the information they need to operate and maintain installed systems, appropriate warranty programs, and perspectives on how well system performance compares to expectations. The main points of ASA's policy state that subcontractors should ensure that appropriate training and documentation on proper operation and maintenance are delivered to the owner's personnel, whether or not they are contractually specified; consider creating incentives for proper operation and maintenance of their finished work, such as offering only limited warranties of their work unless extended inspection and maintenance programs are included in their contractual work scope; and help manage the owner's performance expectations to ensure that they are realistic and not mismatched to the actual project specifications. To download a pdf of ASA's policy, visit ASA's Web site.

    U.S. Army Adopts LEED Rating System
    The U.S. Army will transition from its own Sustainable Project Rating Tool (SPiRiT) in use since 2002, to United States Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System for the design and construction of its buildings beginning in 2008. According to USGBC, the federal government has been among the top users of its LEED rating system and has also helped to develop and improve the rating system through participation in USGBC member committees.

    The U.S. Navy, Air Force and General Services Administration, Department of Energy, Department of State, and Department of Energy all reference and use LEED for the design and construction of their buildings. Of the LEED projects that are currently in construction, the Federal government owns 7%, USGBC says. The Army says the goal of transitioning from the SPiRiT rating system to LEED is an effort to integrate the principles and practices of sustainability on its installations as they minimize the impacts and total ownership costs of Army systems, materials, facilities, and operations. The Army will be required to build all their new construction projects to the LEED Silver standard.



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    Project Watch
    New York State Seeks Sealed Bids
    for Electrical Work

    New York State's Office of General Services, Design and Construction Group, is currently soliciting bids for electrical work at Building No. 24, Albion Correctional Facility, Albion, N.Y. A pre-bid visit of the job site is scheduled for 10 a.m. EST on May 5. Those planning on attending the pre-bid meeting must contact Christine Thompson at (585) 589-4854 a minimum of 72 hours in advance of the date in order to attend. Bidding and contract documents are available on CD by calling (877) 647-7526. The deadline for bids is 2 p.m. EST on May 10.


    New York State's Office of General Services, Design & Construction Group, is also currently requesting bids for electrical work for the renovation of Building No. 19, Kingsboro Psychiatric Center, Brooklyn, N.Y. A pre-bid visit of the project area will be held at 10 a.m. EST on May 11. For assistance regarding the site visit, contact Sheila Smith at (845) 365-0730, ext. 101. Bidding and contract documents are available on CD by calling (877) 647-7526. The deadline for bid submission is 2 p.m. EST on May 17.

    California County Requests Proposals for Prime Contractor
    The Susan River Fire Protection District in Susanville, Lassen County, Calif. is currently soliciting sealed proposals for a prime contractor for the Johnstonville Fire Hall project. The scope of work includes wiring of all electrical switches, plugs, lights, and lighting fixtures. Specifications and plans may be reviewed and obtained at the office of NST Engineering, 1495 Riverside Dr., Susanville, CA 96130. The deadline for bids is 2 p.m. PST on May 10.


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    Web Exclusives
    Business Brief
    Orlando, Fla.-based electrical contractor Terry's Electric, Inc., was recently awarded a $6 million electrical contract for Osceola County School District's new multimillion-dollar EEE High School in Kissimmee, Fla. Turner Construction Co. is the general contractor for the 350,000-square-foot facility, slated for completion in July 2007. With $46.4 million annual revenue and more than 550 employees, Terry's Electric is Florida's fifth largest electrical contractor. Originally established to serve the local community following the opening of nearby Walt Disney World, the company also operates branch offices in Tampa and West Palm Beach.

    For more business briefs, visit EC&M's Web site.



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    Eye on Safety
    ASTM International Releases New Edition of Standards on Electrical Protective Equipment for Workers
    West Conshohocken, Pa.-based ASTM International recently released the twelfth edition of "ASTM Standards on Electrical Protective Equipment for Workers." The volume, offered in print or CD-ROM, includes 39 ASTM standards that help individuals choose the right tools, equipment, materials, and test methods to protect workers from electrical hazards. Topics include acoustic emission sensor response, temporary grounding jumper assemblies, live-line and measuring telescoping tools, and insulated hand tools. Copies of the revised standard are available on the ASTM Web site.


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    Shows and Events
    LFI 2006
    LightFair International, the largest annual architectural and commercial lighting trade show and conference, will take place at the Las Vegas Conference Center from May 30 to June 1. This year's conference includes more than 240 hours of CEU/LU-accredited educational options on topics such as sustainable design, lamp and ballast trends, lighting and security, ELDA+, and RGB composition. For more information or to register, visit the LightFair Web site.

    7x24 Exchange
    Spring Conference

    The 7x24 Exchange Spring Conference will be held in Orlando, Fla., from June 4-7. This year's tutorial sessions and presentation topics include basics of standby power generation, monitoring milliwatts, test strategies for standby diesel engine generators, and energy usage trends in data centers. For more information and to register, visit the 7x24 Exchange Web site.

    NFPA World Safety Congress & Exposition The National Fire Protection Association will present its World Safety Congress & Exposition in Orlando, Fla., from June 4-8. Technical sessions offered this year include presentations on the standards for the installation of stationary fuel cell power systems, signaling systems, sprinkler systems, and the electrical standard for industrial machinery. Educational sessions will include topics such as building and life safety, codes and standards, and the necforum, focusing on electrical design issues, maintenance programs, best practices in electrical contracting, effective inspection techniques, and practical electrical safety programs. For more information or to register, visit NFPA's Web site.
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